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Sunday, 25 January 2015 22:25 By Joseph Bossa
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With opposition threatening a boycott, Museveni needs an opponent at the national presidential elections

Some things require many words and rims of paper to explain. The consequences of Gen. David Sejusa’s and former Kampala Mayor, Nasser Ssebaggala’s recent political moves do not. ‘’It is elementary, my dear Watson,’’ Sherlock Holmes, that cerebral character in Sir A. Conan Doyle’s detective stories would have said.

This presentation does not require us going into Sejusa and Co’s antecedents and antics first. Whether Sejusa is being his maverick self yet again and Sebaggala is remaining whatever you think he is, their activities have an effect on the Ugandan voter.

The Ugandan voter looking at these two gentlemen is bound to come to one or several of these conclusions: all politicians are the same; they are all in it for themselves; why bother to vote? There is no alternative; gwewalabyeko ye mwaana, which means the same thing as the devil you know (President Yoweri Museveni) is better than the angel you don’t (any other presidential candidate); nothing is likely to change.

The result of any of those conclusions is a low voter turn-out during the expected elections, widespread acceptance of the status quo, resignation and the sapping of the will to resist what is going on. Only one person, Mr Museveni, benefits from any reaction of the voter set out above.

 
Sunday, 18 January 2015 21:29 By Morris DC Komakech
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Private schools, as the fast foods of education, have put intellectually poorly fed characters in charge of the nation

The allure of the liberalisation movement of the 90s forced governments to renege on their responsibility of providing quality social services to their citizens. In Uganda, liberalisation caused a decline of quality in the education sector leading to growing concerns over intellectual obesity and problems of societal deficits.

Before liberalisation, the traditional education system in Uganda was rigorous, as schools across the country competed to deliver well-nurtured intellectuals.

Although the colonial education system remained stagnant and too out-dated to compete in the globalisation milieu, the most special thing about it was that it provided a stable structure for foundational learning. The sector prepared learners comprehensively for the tasks ahead, such that its Ordinary and Advanced level graduates could contribute substantially in the workforce. Not now!

The structure of schools changed with the emergence of private schools and subsequent collapse of public institutions. Emerging private schools’ main objectives were to absorb the new generation kids who were not fitting or accommodated in traditional schools. These kids were surging in numbers, and yet multiple media, which transmitted foreign cultures into their living rooms, had impaired their attention span and compromised their levels of engagement.  The private schools therefore provided a more liberal environment and an agenda more focused on passing national exams. Private schools did shape the contours of education in Uganda with their stunning success.

 
Sunday, 11 January 2015 21:39 By Stephen Christian Kaheru
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Governance underpins our collective responsibility to make roads safer

A few months ago, Citizen TV of Kenya reported that over 100 pedestrians had been arrested in Nairobi’s industrial area and arraigned in court for failing to use foot bridges. Although this confounded road users in Kenya, Police maintained that pedestrian bridges were deliberately constructed at historical black spots. For Kenya, which is beginning to reap from an African Development Bank financed USD$25 billion (Approx. Shs650 trillion) infrastructure plan, legal enforcement is imperative to enable Kenyans live in harmony with roads.

Kenya’s neighbour, Uganda, enjoys a glowing profile of ruinous road behaviour. In 2013, 688 children aged 10 and below lost their lives in road accidents while the 18-24 age bracket was deprived of 377 souls in addition to claiming a staggering 886 Ugandans aged 24-34. At the national referral hospital, Mulago, the designated casualty ward has over time earned itself the name, Bajaj Ward (after the Indian motorcycle brand) because it is teeming with boda boda casualties.

Our conduct on roads evokes a string of unsettling questions. Who regulates boda boda which so brazenly flout traffic regulations? What became of the seatbelt and speed governor requirement? Who determines the location and dimensions of speed calming features on roads including speed humps and rumble strips? Who should prevail over residents who introduce private accesses to highways? What safeguards exist for non-motorised traffic including the physically challenged and school children? Who is responsible for road signage? How much funding is allocated for road safety?

 
Monday, 05 January 2015 06:20 By Morris DC Komakech
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Trends in opposition victories show that Inter-Party candidates have had better chances at victory at the polls

As we enter 2015, there is need to call for a stronger and united opposition to prepare adequately for a reorganised NRMO. Many cynics appear ambivalent in accepting the gruelling environment in which opposition actors operate.

Opposition politics is laced with thorns and treacherous hurdles to overcome, requiring lots of resources and meticulous organising. By nature, the opposition must be dynamic in ideology to succinctly capture the emerging problems of society with pragmatic responses.

Most of our societal problems are generated by instability resulting from the 1995 Constitution which has become the instrument of expression of the aspirations of the dominant group in power. No amount of effort or methods can succeed in advancing alternative ideology using the Constitution given the numerical disadvantage of opposition in the legislature and at local governments. Instead, the opposition should play the politics of domination by ideas and find those sets of ideas to effectively attract the youth population.

 
Monday, 22 December 2014 06:15 By Patrick Nakabale
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With soldiers talking seeds and plants instead of guns and bombs, the prosperity gospel is made easier

Recently, I was privileged to participate in activities of wealth-creation and prosperity through agriculture in Kakiri town council and surrounding areas. We have been involved in activities of agricultural expansion and value-addition for sometime.

Kakiri is peri-urban and situated about 20kms on the Kampala-Hoima road. Proximity to the city of Kampala brightens prospects for hardworking residents to transform the place into a city in its own right. Tremendous opportunity is still available for construction and large scale farming. The highway leading from Kampala through Kakiri to Kiboga on to Hoima provides an endless stream of commuters who daily make stop-overs to do shopping or to relax. With the looming oil boom, Kakiri has a lot going for it. Industrialists and service providers linked to the sector will require lots of foodstuffs and places of recreation which they will have to find in Hoima and all the way to Kampala.

The people of Kakiri are, therefore, being prepared to harness the market occasioned by the oil industry in a big way.

This time our programmes for agricultural m odernisation were boosted by the presence of the CDF, Gen. Katumba Wamala, who committed a day to traverse the area, from the town centre to the rural edges- Masuulita and Namayumba. Gen. Wamala’s visit re-enforced the morale of the locals who have previously worked on the spirit of mere survival at household level. With the topmost soldier in the country turning up and not talking guns and bombs, but seeds and plants, the prosperity gospel was made easier to absorb and very reassuring. Why?

 

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